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PokerStars Reports $217M In Rake In Q2

Revenue Up 6.9 Percent Year-Over-Year, Firm Says

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PokerStars, the world’s largest poker site in terms of revenue, said in a financial report released Monday that it generated $217 million in rake from its poker games in the second quarter.

The revenue was up 6.9 percent compared to $202.9 million worth of rake in Q2 of 2017. Excluding the impact of year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates, growth was a more modest 3.9 percent year-over-year, the firm said. Poker revenue was up nearly 10 percent through the first half of 2018, when including the favorable impact of the exchange rates.

“The increase was primarily driven by the continued positive impact of the Stars Rewards loyalty program, foreign exchange fluctuations, and the introduction of shared poker liquidity in France and Spain in the first quarter and Portugal in the second quarter, as offset by, among other things, the cessation of operations in Australia in September 2017 and Colombia in July 2017, and continued negative operating conditions in Poland due to certain prior regulatory changes in that jurisdiction,” The Stars Group said in the report.

The $217 million in rake represented just 52 percent of total revenue for the quarter, as the firm’s other online gambling products continued to command a larger share of the revenue pie.

The Stars Group said it had 2.02 million gamblers known as “quarterly real-money active uniques” in the second quarter, a decrease of 5.2 percent.

“Approximately 1.86 million of such QAUs played online poker during the quarter, a decrease of approximately 7.3 percent year-over-year,” the firm said.

How does PokerStars define a QAU? They are customers who generated real-money online rake or placed a real-money online bet or wager on during the applicable quarterly period. The firm defines unique as a customer who played or used one of its real money offerings at least once during the period.

The Stars Group said that QAUs were down due to its continued focus on “high-value customers (primarily recreational players)”. Those customers are in contrast to high-volume poker playing professionals that the poker site was more interested in catering to in previous years. While overall QAUs were down, activity for the company’s casino and sports wagering products were both up significantly in Q2 (11.4 percent and 78.3 percent, respectively).

The financial data was released just a few days after PokerStars and Pennsylvania’s Mount Airy Casino Resort announced a partnership for online gaming. The Keystone State would be just the second U.S. state to license PokerStars. New Jersey did so several years ago.

Mount Airy, located about 100 miles north of Philadelphia, is home to a nine-table poker room. PokerStars’ New Jersey partner doesn’t have a live poker room.

The deal with Mount Airy follows a recent extension of the online gaming company’s deal with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. Under that arrangement, PokerStars will add online and mobile sports wagering to its existing offerings under the partnership. In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow states to legalize and regulate sports betting.